Australia’s national science agency CSIRO to invest US$11.7m in space tech research

Image courtesy of CSIRO.

Today, Australia’s national science agency CSIRO announced it will be investing US$25.6 million (AU$35m) in space technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), of which US$11.7m (AU$16m) will go to space technology.

The new investment aims to boost research in frontier science, and is part of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms (FSP) portfolio, which currently includes the health and energy industries.

In the field of space technology, the fund will initially focus on advanced technologies for Earth observation, such as the development of advanced imaging of Earth from satellites. In future, it will be used address challenges such as space object tracking, resource utilisation in space, and developing manufacturing and life support systems for missions to the Moon and Mars.

The fund will help reinvent old and create new industries, as well as grow the capability of a new generation of researchers through specially-created student places in these ‘future’ fields. It will also aim to pinpoint new areas for Australian industry to work in.

CSIRO’s investment builds on the launch of CSIRO’s Space Roadmap for Australia and supports the Australian Space Agency’s goal of tripling the size of the domestic space sector by 2030.

“Innovation needs deep collaboration, so our FSPs bring together this nation’s world-class expertise across all fields of science, technology, engineering and maths to deliver real solutions to real world problems,” said CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall.

“CSIRO is here to solve Australia’s greatest challenges through innovative science and technology – and to do that we have to invest in the big thinking and breakthrough research that will keep us ahead of the curve,” he concluded.

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